The Soufan Group Morning Brief


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MONDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2016
PENTAGON PLANS FOR ISIS INTEL SURGE AS MOSUL CAMPAIGN CONTINUES

The Pentagon is sending dozens of additional intelligence analysts to Iraq to examine a trove of documents and information it expects to collect as the military campaign to retake Mosul from ISIS continues. The analysts plan to share information with the Iraqi military as the fight unfolds against ISIS in Mosul and also pass on insights that may help in preparations to retake ISIS’s other remaining stronghold, Raqqa in Syria. New York Times

Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Friday that Turkey should have a role in the campaign to retake Mosul. Speaking during a visit to the NATO ally, Carter said that “there’s an agreement there in principle, but now we have to work down to practicalities.” The Iraqi government has been opposed to any Turkish presence in the country, calling a contingent of Turkish troops stationed north of Mosul an “occupation” force. Washington Post, New York Times

Related:
Washington Post: ‘He gave his life for his teammates’: Jason Finan, 34, was killed serving alongside SEALs in Iraq
Reuters: Iraqi Kurds claim capture of town in advance on Mosul
The Hill: Defense secretary checks on Mosul offensive
Daily Beast: Retreat, for ISIS, Could Be a Kind of Victory in the Battle for Mosul
CNN: Peshmerga forces 5 miles from Iraq’s Mosul in key battle against ISIS

Gitmo: Supporters of a former Guantanamo detainee now living in Uruguay who carried out a hunger strike said on Saturday that another country has offered to accept him. Syrian native Abu Wa’el Dhiab has been unhappy living in Uruguay and is seeking to rejoin his family in another country. The group “Vigil for Dhiab” did not specify which country had offered to accept him. AP, BBC

Related:
Miami Herald: U.S. troops: ‘Guantánamo Diary’ prisoner thanked his captors on his way out


RUSSIAN HACKER CHARGED IN CONNECTION WITH CYBER ATTACKS ON U.S. TECH COMPANIES
A Russian man who allegedly broke into computer systems of three U.S. tech companies has been indicted by a federal jury in Oakland, California. Yevgeniy Aleksandrovich Nikulin, 29, was arrested last week while on vacation in the Czech Republic on charges connected to cyber attacks on LinkedIn, Dropbox, and Formspring. The FBI and Czech police carried out a raid on Nikulin’s hotel in Prague in coordination with Interpol. A judge in Prague ordered that Nikulin remain in custody and for a court to examine whether to extradite him to the United States. New York Times, Financial Times

Related:
Washington Post: Congressman raises concern over potential use of Russian satellites for troops’ Internet service


AIRSTRIKES RESUME AFTER CEASEFIRE EXPIRES IN YEMEN
The Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen resumed airstrikes against Houthi rebel targets on Sunday, just hours after a three-day ceasefire between the warring parties expired. The UN-backed temporary ceasefire was meant to allow an increased flow of humanitarian aid into besieged areas. Reuters

Syria: A proposal to send heavier weapons to CIA-backed Syrian rebels to help them defend themselves against Russian aircraft and artillery attacks was on the agenda of a recent meeting of President Obama’s national security team, according to officials. The plan was neither approved nor rejected, as the Obama administration reportedly remains skeptical about escalating a covert CIA program that has trained and armed Syrian rebel fighters over the past three years. Washington Post

Somalia: A suspected Al-Shabab suicide car bombing killed at least one person and wounded two others in the Somali capital of Mogadishu on Sunday. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack which occurred near a temporary shelter for displaced persons affected by conflict elsewhere in the country. Reuters


Egypt: Suspected Islamist militants killed a senior Egyptian Army officer on Saturday in a shooting in broad daylight outside his home in a Cairo suburb. The group called Liwa al-Thawra, or the Revolution Brigade, claimed responsibility for the attack on Brig. Gen. Adel Raga, who had previously been deployed to the Sinai Peninsula, where the Egyptian military is fighting ISIS-linked militants. New York Times

France: French authorities have begun clearing the sprawling refugee camp outside the city of Calais on Monday, in an effort to better regulate the refugee crisis in the country. Over 1200 French police officers assembled at the camp, known as the “Jungle” to coordinate the bussing of refugees to dozens of reception centers scattered throughout France. New York Times
TOP OP-EDS
Pardon the American Taliban: “You become radicalized when you think that the world has ceased to care, and that in joining a shadowy band of zealots you might make a difference,” writes Paul Theroux in The New York Times. “With that in mind, those of us who have been no nearer to this White House than a picket line would appreciate it if the president, in his last months in office, reviewed the case of John Walker Lindh with a view to commuting his sentence on compassionate grounds.”

The Islamic State After Mosul: “As an alliance of Iraqi and Kurdish forces pushes to retake the city of Mosul from the Islamic State, there should be no doubt about what the group plans to do next. It will fight to the bitter end to defend its most populous and symbolic stronghold,” writes Hassan Hassan in The New York Times. “If the Islamic State loses Mosul, the group has a clearly articulated contingency plan, a strategy it has frequently broadcast on multiple platforms for the past five months: inhiyaz, or temporary retreat, into the desert.”

The Islamic State's Coming Rural Revival: “If the Islamic State’s government collapses, it will go to ground again. Rather than rats fleeing a sinking ship to more hospitable climes, many Islamic State members will scurry to hide in the ruins of their state and wait to emerge when their enemies begin to rebuild on the rubble,” write William McCants and Craig Whiteside on Lawfare. “They will assassinate collaborators to forestall rapprochement and to eliminate future competitors. They will launch spectacular terror attacks in Syria and Iraq to alleviate pressure on their organization and attract fresh recruits.”

Bring Syria’s Assad and his backers to account now: “For 5½ years, the Syrian government has tortured, shot, bombed and gassed its own people with impunity, with the resulting human cost clear for all to see: nearly 500,000 dead and 11 million displaced,” write John Allen and Charles R. Lister in the Washington Post. “It is time for the United States to act more assertively on Syria, to further four justifiable objectives: to end mass civilian killing; to protect what remains of the moderate opposition; to undermine extremist narratives of Western indifference to injustice; and to force Assad to the negotiating table.”
EDITOR'S PICK

SOUFAN GROUP
For cutting-edge analysis of the geopolitical events shaping global affairs, read today’s TSG IntelBrief: Shi’a Militias in Mosul and Beyond




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